Narendra Modi makes strong pitch for operationalisation of BRICS bank

Making a strong pitch for speeding up the creation of a BRICS development bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India hopes to ratify the agreement over the financial institution by year-end and 2016 should be set as the target for its inauguration.

Brisbane: Making a strong pitch for speeding up the creation of a BRICS development bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India hopes to ratify the agreement over the financial institution by year-end and 2016 should be set as the target for its inauguration.

"The historic 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza delivered- the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. These signal our collective capacities to create and manage global institutions," Modi said at an informal meeting of leaders of the five-nation BRICS bloc here.

"We propose that we should set the target of 2016 for inauguration of this Bank. We hope to ratify the agreement by the end of the year. We would soon nominate our candidate for the post of the Presidency," Modi said, making a strong pitch for the early operationalisation of the bank.

India will hold the Presidency of the USD 100 billion New Development Bank for the first six years. The bank will be based in Shanghai, China's financial hub.

India's presidency will be followed by Brazil and Russia who will have five years term each under an agreement reached after intense negotiations among the five country-grouping BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The decision to set up the bank and a USD 100 billion Currency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) that will help countries to deal with short-term liquidity pressures, was made at the 6th BRICS Summit held in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in July.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President President Jacob Zuma attended the informal meeting along with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit here.

Modi said that the bank and the CRA can be effective in promoting sustainable development and bridge infrastructure gaps.

"These measures send a strong message to the rest of the world about the efficacy of BRICS," he said in his speech delivered in English.

"We can be more aligned to local conditions and requirements. We should focus on next generation infrastructure. We can promote new models of governance and financing, while maintaining the highest banking standards," Modi said.

"We should also make it more participatory. We need to work towards their early implementation," he said.

Talking about the CRA, the Prime Minister said it is a "very timely" initiative.

He said the work on the re-insurance pool among BRICS is also a welcome one.

"We hope that our officials will be able to come up with a concrete proposal by the next year," Modi said.

Speaking at the informal meeting of BRICS leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping said BRICS countries should actively participate in international multilateral cooperation and raise their voice in global economic governance.

Economic cooperation serves as the lasting power house for the development of the BRICS countries, Xi said.

The BRICS countries should remain committed to drafting long-term blueprint for economic cooperation and forging a closer economic partnership by facilitating market inter-linkages, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity as well as people-to-people contacts, he said.

All sides should step up efforts for the establishment of the New Development Bank and the CRA since both are of great significance, he was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Xi said the cooperation between the BRICS countries should be driven by the two "wheels" of economy and politics so that the BRICS can act as not only the world's economic engine, but also a shield for world peace.

The BRICS countries should further their cooperation and coordination in world's politics and security to safeguard the world's fairness and justice, he said.

The BRICS bank aims to reduce Western dominance of the global financial system.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been the pillars of the world's economic system for the past 70 years but the Bretton Woods institutions are regularly criticised for their inability to reflect the contributions of the major emerging economies to the global economy.